How to Remove Oil from Concrete: The Power of Pressure Washing

To remove oil from concrete effectively, use a degreaser specially designed for oil stains and a pressure washer.

Once you apply the cleaner, it must be left alone for several minutes to work its magic.

Pressure washers are great for removing oil from concrete, but they need enough pressure and gallons of water.

If you enjoy working on your car as a hobby in the garage, you know that oil spills are bound to happen.

Even if you have tried to clean up the excess oil and scrub it out, there might still be an oil stain in the concrete’s pores that needs to be removed.

In such a situation, you might look at your pressure washer in the corner and wonder if it can help you.

Read on to learn whether a pressure washer can be used on oil stains and how to use it on concrete.

Driveway shows an example to remove oil  from concrete.

Related Reading: Can “Wet and Forget” Be Used In A Pressure Washer?

Can Pressure Washers Remove Oil From Concrete?

Did you know you can use your pressure washer to remove oil from concrete?

However, it’s important to note that oil is a stubborn substance that requires the proper nozzle and pressure setting to get rid of it.

Using the wrong equipment or excessive pressure won’t yield the desired result.

It will take the right amount of pressure, the proper nozzle, the best techniques, and the right combination of pressure washer and concrete cleaner.

The first question you’re probably asking yourself is whether your pressure washer can clean the oil stain.

To answer that, we need to know how much pressure your washer needs to reach.

How Much Pressure Do You Need?

To effectively remove oil stains from concrete, you need a pressure washer that produces at least 1700 PSI per square inch, preferably 2800 PSI.

To maintain the correct pressure, your pressure washer must supply 1.5-2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) of water.

The good news is that most residential pressure washers meet these requirements, but it’s still important to check yours.

Luckily, you don’t need a high-pressure washer.

Please click on the Amazon Affiliate Link below to check out a few pressure washers.

Pressure Washers

I use my pressure washer every spring to remove black stains and grime accumulating throughout the winter.

Pressure washers do make the concrete look new.

Nozzle Attachment to Remove Oil From Concrete

Make sure to use two specific nozzles for the task at hand.:

  1. A nozzle with a 12” spread
  2. A rotary nozzle, a.k.a. high-pressure nozzle

Before washing out the oil stain, use the first nozzle to clear the area.

First, remove any tools, vehicles, or other debris from the floor.

Besides, your driveway is likely dotted with oil stains, so you need a nozzle that cleans large areas.

The second nozzle is used to directly wash out the oil stain by penetrating deep into the pores of the concrete and removing the oil.

Cleaners to Use with a Pressure Washer to Remove Oil from Concrete

To effectively clean concrete, you’ll need some chemical assistance.

While water can do most of the work, oil stains require a degreaser to break them down.

A high-quality concrete cleaner will break down the oil by breaking down the grease, allowing it to be more easily wiped away.

Degreasers work in one of two ways: either they break down the oil, trap it in the suds, suspend it, and carry it away with the water, or they are acids that break down and dissolve the oil entirely.

Excellent degreasing options include:

  • Dish Soap
  • Coca-Cola
  • CLR degreaser
  • GP66 Miracle
  • Simple Green: Heavy-Duty Concrete Cleaning Solution
  • Oil Eater Original:
  • Simply FLC: Best Concrete Oil Stain Remover

Don’t worry about using hot water to get rid of oil; cold water works just fine.

Related Reading: Can You Use Dish Soap in a Pressure Washer?

Related Reading: The Best Concrete Cleaners of 2024

How to Remove Oil From Concrete

Washing oil from your concrete driveway can be a quick and easy process.

Clear the Area

Clear the area of objects, debris, and persons.

You want an uninterrupted space to sweep the nozzle without working around equipment.

Protect Yourself

It’s essential to wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, boots, and pants instead of shorts.

This will help keep you safe from any potential hazards.

Some cleaners are harmful when they touch exposed skin, so it’s vital to cover up with as many waterproof materials as possible.

Related Article: 11 Crucial Pressure Washer Safety Tips You Must Follow: Blast with Care


Rinse the driveway with your 12” nozzle to clear away any dirt.

The pre-rinsing will allow you to see where the stains are most prevalent.

Apply Cleaner

Apply a liberal amount of your chosen cleaner to the stain.

Add the recommended amount of cleaner to the pressure washer tank.

Let the Cleaner Sit

It would help to allow the degreaser to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off to give it enough time to break down and/or encapsulate the oil.


Scrub the area thoroughly with a brush or sturdy, stiff-bristled broom to break up the oil.

I use a stiff push broom for the initial scrubbing; however, sometimes, you have to get on your knees and rub hard with a hand brush.


To remove the oil and cleaner from your driveway, use a pressure washer with clean water and a 12″ nozzle.

Be cautious about the type of cleaner you use.

Leaving it on the driveway may stain or even dissolve the concrete, mainly if the cleaner contains acids.

Therefore, make sure to rinse the area thoroughly after cleaning.

Continue Reading: Can You Use Hot Water in a Pressure Washer? Learn the Truth

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to use your pressure washer without worsening the problem, you are fully prepared to tackle those unsightly dark oil spots you’ve been putting off.

You can feel empowered as you watch the oil vanish like magic!

You may find it so satisfying that you also offer to help your friends with their driveways.

It’s essential to remember that your expectations may not be fully met when trying to remove oil from concrete surfaces.

If the oil has been deeply absorbed into the porous concrete for a long time, it may be impossible to remove it altogether.

However, depending on the type of oil and how long it has been sitting on the concrete, most of it can still be removed.

I usually use the pressure washer in the spring and again before the winter.

It’s all worth it to see how the concrete looks after cleaning.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!